body armour identification?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by phaserrifle, Dec 12, 2010.

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  1. a few weeks ago, I purchased a set of surplus body armour, as part of a fancy dress costume.
    all I knew at the time was it was british, ex-forces (most likely marines or navy since it was purchased in plymouth), and I assumed "bullet-proof" (that is to say, it offered ballistic protection)

    however, when I showed it to an ex-army aquaintance (as part of the costume) he identified it as a "stab vest", and indicated he had been issued one at some point.
    since it was ex-millitary, this confused me a bit. why would the army/navy/airforce need a vest designed to stop a blade, since my understanding is that for the most part, the two are difficult to combine, when the vast majority of the threats to them are ballistic in nature?

    the tags inside describe the outer as "cover combat body armour L/W mk.1" and the filler as "filler, combat body armour L/W mk.1"

    can anyone actually identify what my vest is supposed to stop? i'm curious.
     
  2. If I could be arrsed..............
     
  3. If it's flexible, then it's pistol calibre at best.
    Probably small fragments only.
     
  4. yep, it's soft armour only, although it has a pocket for a small plate on the front.
     
  5. Got any pics? Sounds like the soft armour designed to stop fragmentation. Issued with 2 tiny plates to protect against rounds.

    Anyone remember the cover for it with 2 pockets on the front? What the hell were the 2 pockets for?
     
  6. I've obviously got too much time on my hands...

    What you have is most likely either combat body armour (identifiable by the cover being camouflaged with Velcro tightening straps at the sides. Alternatively it could be the olde stylee NI "flack jacket" body armour. The cover of this is green with rubber pads in front of each shoulder and tightened at the side with laces.

    If it is military it is unlikely to be a stab vest as these are normally used by police forces. A stab vest is identifiable by a layer of metal chain mail normally as the outer layer.

    What you probably have is designed to protect the wearer against fragmentation. It may also protect against pistol or sub-machine-gun ammunition, but I wouldn't count on it from my experience.

    I dread to think what the theme to your fancy dress party was. Most soldiers hate wearing any sort of body armour.

    Just seen your additional description. Single pouch on the front is not for a plate, unless there is an identical one on the back. It's an old set and that's just a pocket to carry things in.
     
  7. Maybe at the Battle of Crecy :) A modern stab vest is heavy duty black nylon vest within which is placed a couple of 'plates' of kevlar re-inforced material. A standard police stab vest (not those issued for instance, to ARV crews) is intended to protect against bladed weapon attack and has some capability against low calibre firearms as well.
     
  8. Sorry to disappoint but chain mail still used as the principle layer to stop blades. The soft Kevlar type layers won't stop a blade very effectively on their own but do provide protection against frag. Plates can be good for stopping frag and bullets, the problem is that even if you use lots of them (which is very heavy) you end up with "chinks" in the armour which are vulnerable to stabbing attack.
     
  9. Chain mail? stfu. Modern vests don't use chainmail. When I purchased mine for work I looked at most models available and didn't see any chainmail.
     
  10. I have never seen any form of body armour using chain mail. Aegis body armour used by police forces uses flexible plates; sealed water-resistant fabric panels filled with Kevlar or plastic or something which has no metallic content. They tend to be rated against both stab, slash and some ballistic threats; given that a decent knife will stab through a car door it would be best to have something slightly better than steel in body armour and slash gloves.

    I reckon the OP's bought a set of old CBA, does it look like this?
     
  11. As a sergeant and inspector in a police support unit I've worn a police issue stab vest virtually every day of the last 15 years. I can assure you that there is no layer of chain mail. Having had a lunatic repeatedly stab me with a chisel I can also attest to the effectiveness of the kevlar. We do have supplies of chain mail gloves to protect against slashing attacks when the occasion demands.
     
  12. by the sounds of it it's the combat body armour you describe.
    I was aware that stab vests tended to be used by police and simmilar types (PCSOs, "city wardens" ect) rather than soldiers, that's why I thought it sounded funny that my ex-army aquaintance said it was a stab vest.

    as for relying on it stopping anything, I'm not planning on finding out if it will stop a well-thrown pencil, let alone anything dangerous. I'm just curious as to what I've got my hands on.

    not got any pics, but it's got two pockets on the front. looks simmilar to the vest Bravo_Zulu links to below, but the larger pocket (I assume on his pic for a plate) is slanted, and on the right there's a smaller pocket, about the right size for something like an older "walkie-talkie" style radio.

     
  13. Clearly I must bow to your experience, although I have been shown a commercial sample of what was apparently police stab vest. It had a section of the waterproof cover removed so that you could see the layers and one was definitely what I could only describe as chain mail. Perhaps this was a demonstration model only. I don't remember whether you could feel the chain mail layer through the waterproof cover or not. I don't suppose you have cut a set open, have you? You've sparked my curiosity now. I dare say that the science of body armour design is a technical business which I can't claim to have any special understanding in, any body armour geeks out there?
     
  14. 100% it's CBA with an old cover with the two pockets. Same as we used in Kosovo until the stuff with plates was issued.
     
  15. It would if the Ammo in question was fired from the old Sterling. Hell, a cardboard box would probably stop 9mm fired from a Sterling.